Its May 6th everyone……Happy International No Diet Day…
Yes it is a real day and while, at first pass, you might think it’s a tongue in cheek, gimmicky kind of celebration, I stand behind it unceremoniously.
If you are a new startup or are considering embarking in that direction, here’s why I think you should care about International No Diet Day.
For me, this celebration does not simply draw attention to the limitations of dieting, it puts a big neon sign over the deeper more endemic issue of trying to fix something by treating the symptoms rather than addressing the wider circumstance.
“I am heavy and that makes me feel bad. If I was lighter, I would feel better.”
Focusing on weight loss alone tends to lead those who diet to disregard the development of positive, sustainable habits such as exercise, adequate sleep, balance in the variety of foods they are eating and awareness of their emotional state.
There are, of course, some organisations that have been set up to tackle this issue, like Motivation Weight Management where habits, emotions and behaviours are the key focus areas. These organisations do great work and provide stellar support. But if you are “on a diet” you will rarely have this level of professional support for your efforts and could end up doing more harm than good.
I am not a nutritionist, nor am I a weight management specialist. What I know in this area comes from choices I have made around my lifestyle, the challenges I have set myself and the knowledge I’ve deemed important for success in those challenges. However, I can draw some fairly weighty parallels between this mind set and that of a certain sector which I do know a fair bit about through my professional dealings.
In his book, The E-Myth, Michael E Gerber suggests that:
It is not entrepreneurs that set up most new businesses. It is employees having an entrepreneurial seizure!! (Tweet this)
Usually in the pursuit of far away, greener hills.
“I am a great engineer and my current job makes me feel bad. If I had my own engineering works, I would be much happier”
The startup becomes the diet, the focus shifts away from the development of positive, sustainable habits, you realize you are now all things to all men and you wake up one day to find the startup has morphed into a worse boss than the one you left.
There are underlying structures that must be put in place to avoid “creating a job for yourself”. There are different habits and attitudes that need to be formed and, now that you are responsible for motivating yourself, awareness around your emotional states becomes really important.
Just as focusing on “weight loss” does not make you healthy…. Setting up your own business, does not make you an entrepreneur.
Professional support in both instances comes highly recommended.
Get yourself a coach!
So, in the interests of more people entering into either a healthier lifestyle or a brand new startup, with their eyes wide open, I’d like to wish you a very happy International No Diet Day and invite you to:
- Read three articles on whatever it is you are about to embark upon
- Talk it through with three people you trust
Explore the habits, attitudes and structures you will need to live healthy rather than lose weight or build a business rather than make a job for yourself…. Then throw yourself at it with all the enthusiasm you can muster.
Now, go knock’em dead……. Figuratively speaking that is!